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Current Events Harm Housing Markets in Illinois

Mar 20, 2008
Wow, what a week in the news; Eliot Spitzer, Geraldine Ferraro, Tony Rezko, Jeremiah Wright, and gas prices jumping to record highs.

What impact do these people and events have upon the housing market? Plenty. Experts were surprised this week to learn that the predicted increase in retail sales in February never materialized as retail sales fell .6% percent. What drives the economy? Consumer spending. It appears the higher cost of energy and food is causing the American consumer to pull back on non-essential spending. Something we predicted on January 5th could happen. Well it has happened.

Consumer confidence has been shaken with this sharp rise in gas prices. In my opinion the sleazy political stories about Spitzer and the Democrat Party primary campaign are not exactly confidence boosters. Low consumer confidence combined with eroding disposable incomes will impact home sales. If consumers are pulling back on small purchases, what do you think they are doing about large purchases?

This year is going to impact the economy and your pocketbooks in a hugely negative way unless Americans wake up and take positive actions on two fronts; energy and taxes. In my opinion governments, local, state or federal don't have a money problem they have a spending problem. We have high costs for energy due to the failure of our government to implement meaningful energy policies, bowing to the desires of the environmental and tourist lobbies.

Although revenues to the state have increased at twice the rate of inflation the past five years, senate Democrats are proposing a 2% increase in the income tax, and an increase in corporate taxes that will be passed along to you through higher prices. On the federal level both Democrat candidates will allow the Bush tax cuts to expire raising taxes on families of four, earning $50,000 a year, by over $2000. Simultaneously both candidates are proposing about one trillion dollars in new programs. When will people say enough is enough about bloated government, higher taxes, and overspending?

When will the American people say enough is enough as they dig into their pockets paying $3.50 a gallon for gas? When people learn the truth about why gas prices are so high. Share the following five reasons why gas, and energy prices are so high with everyone you know. Please ask them to call their congressmen, senators, and state officials.

Reason number one why gas prices are high; taxes. The people of Illinois should be in complete revolt against their dishonest, dysfunctional government that takes about 40 cents a gallon every time you fill up in motor fuel and sales taxes. That money is intended to maintain, and build transportation infrastructure. Where does the money go? Into nanny state, feel good programs like kids care where 54,000 children have been enrolled, costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, and half the kids enrolled are from illegal immigrant families. When will the state realize that by putting the gas tax into infrastructure improvements, where it was supposed to go in the first place, that those improvements would attract new businesses to the state, creating more jobs, so people could work and accept personal responsibility to pay for their own kids care? The Feds add their motor fueltax, then Illinois charges sales tax on top of the two motor fuel taxes, triple dipping into your pocket. Reason number one your gas prices are high; taxes, federal, state, local, and sales taxes.

Reason number two your gas prices are high is due to environmental and tourism lobbyists buying votes of those who write energy laws. We have billions of barrels of oil in Alaska, the continental states, and offshore. Will you feel better the next time you fill your tank because some toad did not lose its habitat, while you have to scrimp at the store to feed your kids? The next time you vacation in Florida or California you can be ecstatic not to see oil derricks miles offshore affecting your view of the horizon. Today you'll only have to pay $50 per person each plane trip in fuel surcharges. We need to capture our own resources lying beneath our feet instead of importing oil from dictators and terrorists. The price of oil is the single biggest factor in the price of gasoline.

Reason number three why gas prices are high is the environmentalists have made building refineries all but impossible, and even fight the expansion of existing refineries. BP is attempting to increase the size of the Wood River refinery by 50%. Environmentalists always show up in larger numbers at hearings and meetings, than do supporters. This is an eight billion dollar proposal that will double production capacity, and create hundreds of good paying jobs. Become involved and attend the hearings and meetings in support of refinery expansion. The application at Wood River is now over a year old. Due to the lack of refining capacity, we now import gasoline, sheer economic madness!

Reason number four why you are paying high energy bills is because environmentalists have blocked the building of nuclear power plants because they say the plants are not safe. The U.S. Navy has powered nuclear submarines since the 1950's without an accident, and even the French produce 80% of their electrical power from nuclear plants. Time to start getting serious about nuclear energy, let your elected officials know.

Reason number five why energy costs are high is environmentalists blocking the use of clean coal technologies. The U.S. is the Saudi Arabia of coal deposits. Hundreds of local miners are unemployed. Clean coal technology could add tremendous numbers of jobs for the miners, to power plants employees, and provide a substantial boost to our electrical production capabilities. Environmentalists have blocked these efforts. Time to get serious about clean coal technologies, call your representatives and tell them you believe a miner and his family are more important than toads.

Ladies and gentlemen the well intended environmentalists are the real reason why your gas prices are so high, not the greedy oil companies our main stream media and liberal politicians want to make you believe. Keep electing liberals and you have no grounds to complain about the cost of gas, because you voted for toads and owls over workers and their families, and it is costing you at the pump. The technology exists to take advantage of our oil, natural gas, and coal reserves in an environmentally safe way.

What does this have to do with real estate? Everything. This election year will determine if we are to become serious about lower taxes, responsible spending, and realistic energy policy. Allow the politicians to raise your taxes, and to remain dependant upon foreign oil, and the value of your home will plummet, because the majority of folks won't be able to afford to buy a home. It's simple; demand will fall when families already impacted by more stringent mortgage lending policies pay more at the pump and the store. The fewer the buyers, the fewer homes that sell, and at lower prices. If there was ever a perfect example of the laws of supply and demand it is the skyrocketing price of food as ethanol producers consume corn meant for the food supply.

Here's the truth if you elect politicians that want to raise taxes who are in bed with the environmentalists. The average family of four will pay $2000 more in federal income taxes, $1000 more in state income taxes, will pay more for goods and services when Illinois corporations pass along corporate tax increases, will pay $4 to $5 a gallon for gas, will pay hundreds more at the grocery store, and will pay hundreds more to heat and cool their homes.

Ladies and gentlemen elect either Democrat candidate president, and let the state legislators raise the income and corporate taxes, and the average Illinois family won't be buying any houses. They'll be lucky to keep the home they have as a result of the unintended consequences of feel good liberal policies and politicians.
About the Author
Fritz Pfister is a licensed Realtor with RE/MAX Professionals Springfield Illinois.
Fritz is a leader in the local real estate market and hosts a live one hour radio program, now in its' 13th year.
Fritz's website is
Fritz hosts home buyer and home seller seminars that have been attended by hundreds of consumers.
Fritz provides advice that helps consumers succeed in the sale or purchase of homes.
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